Ashwakarna – Dipterocarpus turbinatus Uses, Research, Side Effects

Ashwakarna, Indian Gurjan – bark is used in treating abscess, urinary tract infection and hearing disorders. Its oil, called Gurjun balsam oil is useful in skin disorders. 

Botanical name– Dipterocarpus turbinatus Gaertn.f
Family- Dipterocarpaceae

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
Bengali name- Teliya Garjan
English name- Common gurjun tree, Indian gurjan, gurjun, gurgina
Chinese name-  jie bu luo xiang
Swedish name –  keruing

Dipterocarpus turbinatus isolate : The winged seed,
Dipterocarpus turbinatus isolate : The winged seed,

Sanskrit Synonyms

Maricha Patraka – leaves resemble to those of black pepper
Jaranadruma,
Deerghaparna, Deergha patra – Elongated leaves
Deergha Vruksha – big tree
Kushika Taru, Kaushika, Aranya,
Ashvarohaka, Garjana, Jaranadrma, Kusika Taru

dipterocarpus turbinatus Gaertn. f.
dipterocarpus turbinatus Gaertn. f.

Distribution

Found in Assam, Meghalaya etc north eastern Indian states, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Myanmar etc.

Major chemical constituents

Wood – Dipterocarpol, Oleoresin- Dammarenediol II, Betulonic acid, Etc
Essential oil- A-cadiena, a- Muurolene etc
Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry

Variety

Another tree, Dipterocarpus macrocarpus is also used in the name of Indian Gurjan. The Gurjan Balsam oil is also extracted from this tree.

Classical categorization

Charaka- Udarda Prashamana – group of herbs that are used in allergic skin conditions and ring worm infestation
Susruta- Salasaradi gana
Vagbhata- Udaraprasamana, Asandi Gana
Raja Nighantu – Prabhadradi Varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Varga
Bhava Prakasha -Vatadi Varga

Indian Gurjan

Medicinal properties

Guna (qualities) – Laghu – light to digest, Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent), Tikta – bitter
Vipaka – Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.

Part used, dosage

Part used – Oil, bark, fruit
Dosage- bark powder 3-5 g

Sanskrit verse

Gurjun benefits

Indicated in –
Pittasra – Raktapitta –Bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Jvara – fever
Sphota – boils, blisters
Kandu – itching, pruritis
Shirodosha – disorders of head
Shiro arti – headache
Pandu – anaemia
Shruti Gada – hearing disorders,
Meha – diabetes, urinary tract disorders
Kushta – skin diseases
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Vrana – Ulcers, wounds
Sweda – excess sweating
Krumi – worm infestation
Bradhna – Prolapsed rectum
Vidradhi – Abscess
Badhirya – deafness
Yonigada – Vaginal infection, excessive bleeding, uterine disorders
Karnagada – ear disorders

Fruit benefits, indications

Its fruit –
Madhura – sweet
Rooksha – dryness
Sheetalacoolant
Stambhana
– blocks the channel, useful in diarrhoea, bleeding disorders
Lekhana – has scraping property, useful in balancing Kapha, in respiratory disorders and in cholesterol / clot deposition in blood vessels
Stanyakrut –improves breast milk production
Indicated in
Adhmana – bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
Raktapitta –Bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Trushna – excessive thirst
Kasa – cough, cold
Kshata – injury, bleeding
Kshaya – depletion of body tissues, weight loss, tuberculosis

The bark is especially used in urinary tract disorders. It is a good diuretic and antibacterial herb.

Its oil is called as Gurjun balsam oil.
It is used in treating skin diseases with oral administration in a dose of upto 3 – 5 ml per day.

Side effects

It is best to avoid in people with constipation.
Seek medical advice for its use during pregnancy and lactation.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

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